Core outcome sets (COS) prioritise outcomes based on their importance to key stakeholders, reduce reporting bias and increase comparability across studies. The first phase of a COS study is to form a ‘long-list’ of outcomes. Key stakeholders then decide on their importance. COS reporting is described as suboptimal and this first phase is often under-reported. Our objective was to develop a ‘long-list’ of outcome items for non-pharmacological interventions for people with dementia living at home.
Three iterative phases were conducted. First, people living with dementia, care partners, health and social care professionals, policymakers and researchers (n = 55) took part in interviews or focus groups and were asked which outcomes were important. Second, existing dementia trials were identified from the ALOIS database. 248 of 1009 pharmacological studies met the inclusion criteria. Primary and secondary outcomes were extracted from a 50% random sample (n = 124) along with eight key reviews/qualitative papers and 38 policy documents. Third, extracted outcome items were translated onto an existing qualitative framework and mapped into domains. The research team removed areas of duplication and refined the ‘long-list’ in eight workshops.
One hundred seventy outcome items were extracted from the qualitative data and literature. The 170 outcome items were consolidated to 54 in four domains (Self-Managing Dementia Symptoms, Quality of Life, Friendly Neighbourhood & Home, Independence).
This paper presents a transparent blueprint for ‘long-list’ development. Though a useful resource in their own right, the 54 outcome items will be distilled further in a modified Delphi survey and consensus meeting to identify core outcomes.